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Idaho notes: BSU game sold out

More than a month away from a showdown with Boise State at the Kibbie Dome, the University of Idaho announced today that the game is sold out. The Vandals (3-2) will play fourth-ranked BSU on Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. The Friday night game will air on ESPN2.

We’ve got more notes about the Vandals below, including comments from coach Robb Akey.


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Akey was asked if he and his staff were taking any precautions after recent health issues with coaches, and the coach was entertaining as always in his response.

“I didn’t like working out and stuff like that,” Akey said, adding that’s he’s given up on exercise since his playing career ended.

Then he said, “Only time I hear about guys getting hurt as coaches, they’re coming back from running or a workout or something like that. That’s when you hear about them having a lot of their issues. You never hear about too many of them keeling over on a bar stool, have ya?”

Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman replied by making a passing remark about a “Coors Light diet,” and Akey added, “Not all bad … at least that’s what I hear. I don’t know.”

OFFENSIVE LINE UPDATE

Akey said he expects to have offensive guard Sam Tupua back after this week’s bye for the Vandals’ WAC opener at Louisiana Tech. Tupua missed the WMU game with a concussion. His replacement, Jordan Johnson, is also battling a shoulder injury. UI played Johnson and Guy Reynolds at left guard.

The Vandals have given up 21 sacks in five games — tied with Colorado State for the most in the FBS ranks. But it’s not necessarily just the pass protection that Akey would like to clean up.

“If there was a disappointment I had in the game with Western Michigan, it’s that we didn’t run the ball better than we did,” he said. “And that’s kind of a fine line there too. If we don’t make a holding penalty on the backside of the play, we’ve got a big run to Deonte (Jackson) that’s out the gate a little bit. Now you’re feeling a little bit better about your running game. Now we have one where we got a 15-, 17-yard break (also from Jackson) and we lose the football.

“I think that we’re very, very, close, but that’s something we’ve got to work on a little bit more.”

The Vandals’ run game is ranked 101st in the country. They’re averaging 103 yards per game.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Through the first five games, the Vandals have shown an inability to get the offense and defense clicking at once. The D has often played well in spite of the offense’s sputtering — while the opposite was true against Colorado State.

Akey said he’s pleased with UI’s passing game (ranked No. 7 in the nation), but there were key drops against Western Michigan that, if caught, could have turned the game into a rout much earlier.

“That’s what I hope we’ve figured out a little bit: that we’ve got a chance to be pretty good if we can put it all together, keep it all together at the same,” Akey said. “That’s the challenge for us right now.”

PLANS FOR BYE

The Vandals took today off and won’t practice Tuesday or Wednesday. The rest of the week they’ll do very light run-throughs with no hitting. Akey said his goal during the bye to give his players — specifically, his starters — a break from contact.

“I want to make sure we win against ‘bye’ also. My guys who have been playing in games, my goal is they’re not going to hit anybody this week. We’re going to take care of their bodies.”

Akey and his staff will spend much of the week recruiting, he said.

OTHER NOTES

Many of you have probably seen that Horizon Air has announced plans to have a silver-and-gold plane with a Vandal logo — after AD Rob Spear last year refused to fly on the Boise State-themed plane.

Also, linebacker Robert Siavii was named WAC defensive player of the week after a nine-tackle effort at Western Michigan.

 


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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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